History and Development
Torches have been around since mankind mastered fire and the harnessing of flames for personal use is one of the most important developments in history. The most basic form of the torch started life as a stick with a combustible material at the end - we have come a long way since then!
During the 19th century, batteries were developed which lead to the invention of hand torches, which would become far safer, more reliable, and more powerful than the traditional candles and lamps.
David Misell and Conrad Hurbert were the first to mass-produce torches in 1899, but these were considered a novelty item which only the wealthy would purchase.
Batteries became more efficient over the years with the first rechargeable torch being developed in the 1960s. During this decade, LEDs were accidentally developed by James R. Biard and Garry Pittman but it would take another 40 years for them to become small and efficient enough for use in torches.
Since then the advancements in LED technology in the past few years is astonishing. They are becoming smaller, more powerful and more environmentally friendly, so much so that they have replaced the traditional fluorescent, halogen and incandescent bulbs within the E.U. In fact, as of September 2018, only LED bulbs are allowed to be imported to E.U countries.
Did You Know?
The term "flashlight" comes from the first torches to be mass-produced: they were unreliable and flashed on and off!